The Sights and Sounds of BC

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, October 26, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Look who came to visit….

Bessie and Neo are best buddies. When Bessie visits it’s like summer camp. Not pictured is when Bessie rushes Neo in a mock attack, like in an old Pink Panther movie when Inspector Clouseau is surprise attacked by his assistant Cato and chaos ensues…

This week, the weather cooled down a bit, and the arts were alive and well at Bakersfield College with the annual Panorama Creative Music Summit, the opening reception of the latest gallery in the Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery, and a special faculty music recital.

Remembering Cokie Roberts

Pioneering broadcaster Cokie Roberts passed away at the age of 75 on Tuesday. A correspondent for NPR and ABC News since the late 1970s, Roberts paved the way for thousands of women to become broadcast journalists at a time when women weren’t fully integrated into the newsroom. 

Ms. Roberts in 1979. She was a radio correspondent for CBS before joining NPR in the late 1970s. Photo Credit: Stan Barouh/NPR

Roberts was the daughter of Louisiana Congressman Hale Boggs, and her mother Lindy Boggs served in his place when he died in a plane crash in 1972. After covering Washington politics for almost 40 years, she would put her encyclopedic knowledge of American history into the best-selling books “Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation” and “Capital Dames: The Civil War and the Women of Washington”.

Roberts won three Emmys during her career as a broadcaster, and she was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame.

Health, Education, and Learning – HEAL

Bakersfield College Delano Campus hosted educators and health community representatives to plan a course of action to improve the health, well being, and workforce opportunities for residents of rural Central Valley from Bakersfield to Merced.

Group Photo from the HEAL Collaborative gathering this week

The vehicle for this work is the formation of Rural HEAL—Health, Education, Equity, Economy and Learning—a collaboration of partners working to improve the lives of rural residents. Partners pictured here represent The Housing, Opportunity and Place (HOPe) Lab  at U.C. Merced, UC San Francisco at Fresno, ​Central Valley Health Policy Institute at Fresno State, Central Valley medical professionals and Bakersfield College health and workforce training programs.

Other HEAL partners are healthcare providers, elected officials, non-profit agencies and community leaders. Addressing poverty and health needs of our rural communities takes a big step forward on November 22 when Bakersfield College co-hosts the Rural Poverty and Health Equity Summit along with the National Academy of Sciences.

The inaugural meeting of the HEAL Collaborative included:

  • Dr. Kathy Murphy 
  • Dr. Irene Yen, UC Merced
  • Dr. Serena Yang, UCSF Fresno *
  • Sean Tan, UC Merced
  • Dr. Tania Pacheco-Werner, CVHPI
  • Mayra Lemus Rangel, CVHPI

and from Bakersfield College Norma Rojas-Mora, Dr. Michelle Bresso, Cindy Collier, Dr. Charles Daramola, Abel Guzman, and Janalynn Castillo.

Abel Guzman shares why this collaborative is so important

BC Welcomes CSUB to Campus!

On Friday morning BC welcomed a team of administrators and faculty from CSUB to the Panorama Campus for a tour and to gather the planning group. This group was formed last April to enable seamless communication and collaboration between the campuses as we work together and plan for the colocation for BC at CSUB.

CSUB visits BC. Check out my t-shirt

The planning group has seven individual workgroups that are co-chaired by both a CSUB faculty member and BC faculty member. These groups will identify various areas where we can collaborate to benefit and serve students.

Zav Dadabhoy, Vikash Lakhani, Vernon Harper, Billie Jo Rice, Sonya Christian

Special thanks to Vernon Harper of CSUB who led his team to BC, Todd Coston and Tamara Baker for the tour of the BC campus, the chefs at the Renegade Room for the delicious breakfast, and to Jessica Wojtysiak for coordinating the visit on behalf of BC.

I particularly enjoyed seeing Dr. David Gove after so many years. David is a math faculty at CSUB and seeing him brought back so many memories when I was a math faculty at BC and we did many joint projects with CSUB.

Panorama Music Summit

The Panorama Creative Music Summit made its way back to Bakersfield College with four days of music and workshops. Hosted by BC’s Jazz Studies and Commercial Music programs, the annual summit is where local performers and professional musicians can come together with BC students, faculty and alumni to perform their music.

This is a great opportunity for artists to perform and collaborate other musicians and composers such as BC alum Omar Murillo, Kris Tiner and guitarist Mike Baggetta.

Jeff Ardray performed on Monday

We are proud of our former student Omar Murillo, who led and composed a 13-piece ensemble with great original pieces including one piece he wrote for his mother. Also on Monday, talented local artist Jeff Ardray was one of the performers on stage.

On Tuesday, BC jazz students got to sit in on an improvisation workshop and guest lecture from guitarist Mike Baggetta. Baggetta, a well-established guitar player from Knoxville, Tenessee, performs with BC professor Kris Tiner as Tin/Bag, and he lit up the room whenever he picked up the guitar.

The performances on Wednesday night featured Commercial Music students performing original songs alongside songwriter Emily Sprague, whose music was featured in Beyonce’s “Homecoming” documentary. LA-based quartet Kidi Band closed out Wednesday night’s performance with their interpretations of West African pop music. You can listen to the Kidi Band on YouTube if you missed them on campus!

This event was a success with great performances. Thank you Lydia Jennings Finlinson and Burns L. Finlinson Endowment of the Bakersfield College Foundation, as well as our other generous sponsors and all the attendees.

An incredibly talented duo, Kris Tiner and Josh Ottum

Wylie and May Louise Jones Art Gallery

BC’s Art Department held the opening reception for the photography exhibition “Things That Will Make You a Man” on Thursday at the Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery in the Grace Van Dyke Bird Library to welcome Santa Fe, New Mexico photographer and videographer, Sage Paisner. “Things That Will Make You A Man” is Paisner’s latest project on the personal and cultural stories of masculinity within the Latinx community.

Jeff Huston and Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

Art faculty Jeffrey Huston and Ronnie Wrest hosted the exhibition and presented Paisner’s work to the BC community, which conveys Paisner’s interpretation of “What makes masculinity?”. Special thanks to these art faculty and BC’s Art Department for organizing the exhibition. It’s amazing to have artists like Sage Paisner present his work to our students and the community.

Faculty Music Recital

On Thursday evening, BC’s Performing Arts held the first Faculty Recital with the inaugural debut of BC’s new Steinway Concert Grand Piano! Also want to do a special THANK YOU to the talented and dedicated Patrick Bender who was everywhere. And thank you to Dr. Jen Garrett who brings music and positive energy to our community.

Dr. John Gerhold
Christina Parnell…. what a voice!
Scott Dirkse playing Rachmaninoff

CPR Training on Campus

Bakersfield College held CPR, AED & First Aid Certification Course for students that would like to be more prepared, equipping students with the tools to confidently react during emergencies. On Friday in Levinson Hall, students got hands-on training lead by professionals Matthew Rodriguez, the senior public safety officer at the Delano Campus, and Freddie Rodriguez, senior officer at the Weill Institute downtown.

Using a mannequin, Matthew Rodriguez demonstrated proper CPR hand placement and compression techniques. Those who attending earned certification in CPR, AED, First Aid. Here’s a great picture of Dr. Nicky Damania who took time out of his busy schedule to participate.

There are other opportunities, and I invite you to enroll in one of the next classes taking place on October 4, November 1, and December 6. Thank you BC’s Campus Safety department for hosting these important learning opportunities.

Seen on TV: Inmate Scholars Program

Last Saturday, Jim Scott‘s KGET Program Kern County In Depth featured Trustee Romeo Agbalog and BC Professors Bryan Hirayama and Pat Smith as they told the story of BC’s Inmate Scholars program. I shared recently in my blog that last month BC’s first cohort of 17 Inmate Scholars graduated with an Associates degree in Communication.

Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Pat Smith, Bryan Hirayama

Seen on TV: BC Professor Allen Bolar

It’s always a joy to see BC faculty participating in the local news broadcasts. This week, political science faculty, @allenbolar was featured on KBAK.

Fun Photos:

Celebrating New Faculty

BC’s newest faculty posed for a group photo with Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, former Congressman and Trustee Bill Thomas, Mayor Goh and myself. What a great time to be a Renegade!

DWK Event

BC was represented at the Women in Politics event last weekend — Dean Andrea Thorson, Kylie Swanson, Chris Cruz-Boone, Kristen Mercer, Steve Watkin and many others. From the community, Congressman TJ Cox and his wife Kathy Murphy, Leticia Perez, Katie Hall, Jan Graves, and Debra Thorson.

Mariachi Girl

Dean of Instruction, Corny Rodriguez shared fun photos from Mariachi Girl at CSUB’s Dore Theater last week. BC is proud to be a sponsor of the event which Corny tells me was “just outstanding.”

L.U.P.E. Cupcake Sale

On Tuesday the Latinos Unidos Por Educación (LUPE) were fundraising outside the Gym, selling cupcakes to help with the activities that this student organization puts on throughout the year.

BC’s IT Department visits BCSW

The IT team from Bakersfield College led by Todd Coston and Brett Redd visited the location of BC SouthWest this week.

VRC Signage

What a beautiful sight at BC this week!

New faculty seminar

Renegade of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (9/8-9/14) Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week:

  • Kennedy Jimenez, Women’s Golf – Kennedy helped lead the Renegades to a fourth place finish in conference play at Santa Barbara Golf Club on 9/9. Kennedy’s efforts have placed her in 19th position overall and the team in fourth place in conference standings.
  • Daniel Schoene, Wrestling – Daniel collected three pins over the weekend in leading the team to a 3-1 finish at the BC Dual Tournament on (9/14) and a 42-3 win over Victor Valley on Friday (9/13).

Men’s Soccer at the Classic Car Show

Our Renegade Men’s Soccer team spent their Saturday morning helping out at the Classic Car Show put on by the Alzheimer’s Association at Brookdale Riverwalk. The entire team took turns with the wheel chair push, the wheel chair car wash and running the BBQ. Thank you coach Vayron Martinez and team for serving our community!

Early College Football Night

Join us at the Inaugural Early College High School Football Night where you can learn more about the Early College resources and programs available at BC. Enjoy free food, games, and giveaways, and root for your Renegades as they take on Golden West College on Sept. 28th.

Check-in on the lawn across from the North entrance of Memorial Stadium for free game tickets and free food. The first 200 high school students will receive free food, and all high school students will receive a free game ticket. Students must bring their current High School ID card to get a game ticket and food. Be sure to show your school pride by wearing your High School colors!

Renegade Report with Men’s Soccer

This week’s edition of the Renegade Report is on the Bakersfield College Athletics Facebook page featuring our Men’s Soccer team. Coach Vayron Martinez, Goalie Armando Alvarez and Midfielder Christian Gonzalez sat down with host Kenny Calvin to discuss the season and who they think would play them in the movie of their life.

Renegade Athletics News Roundup

Athletic events ‘On the Hill’ this coming week

Be sure to put on your Renegade Red and cheer on our student athletes as they compete this coming week. If you can’t make it in person, check GoGades.com to catch the livestream. Events include:

  • Wed. 9/25 at 6pm – Volleyball vs. Canyons
  • Fri. 9/27 at 1pm – Cross Country, BC Invite
  • Fri. 9/27 at 1pm – Cross Country, BC Invite
  • Fri. 9/27 at 6pm – Volleyball vs. Glendale
  • Sat. 9/28 at 6pm – Football vs. Golden West

Purchase your tickets to the remaining football games in advance!

To avoid waiting in line on gameday, the athletic department strongly encourages fans to purchase football tickets in advance for the remaining home football games. Tickets can be purchased online through this link:  https://vallitix.com/bc-football/   or by calling 661-322-5200.

On gameday the ticket offices outside of Memorial Stadium will open at 4:30pm with gates opening at 5:00pm. Adult tickets range in price from $9.00 to $14.00. Children (3-12 years)/Student/Senior tickets are $6.00 per ticket. Our next home football game is this coming Saturday 9/28 vs. Golden West. We’ll see you out there!

 

That’s all for now.

Until next time

sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Football, New Faculty, it must be Fall

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, September 14, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Who doesn’t love looking at the moon. Always beautiful….always kindling emotions within our souls… Last night was a special full moon…A full moon on Friday the 13th! Enjoy the photo I snapped while walking Neo and then the other taken by Nick Strobel.

New Faculty Reception

Per tradition, we welcomed our new faculty before the first football game of the season last Saturday.

See all of them on the Bakersfield College New Faculty page.

We had lots of great food, prepared by our food services.

Our Deans were there to welcome everyone.

Among the dignitaries present, Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh energized the group with her usual upbeat message ending with the BC chant….We are BC!

Trustee Romeo Agbalog and Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg greeted the new faculty

Was happy to have Congressman Bill Thomas at the event. Was a real treat that he brought as his guest retired faculty member Gaylen Lewis.

Gaylen Lewis, Sonya Christian

Aren’t these Renegade tattoos great?

Catherine Rangel, Sonya and Jo Ellen Barnes

Football Season Begins 

A highlight for me was hearing the BC Men’s Choir for the first time. Jen Garrett you just keep raising the bar on our music program. Thank you!

Men’s choir with the National Anthem
Sonya Christian with Jen Garrett and the BC Men’s Choir

Thanks to Measure J funding, the Renegade football team opened up the 2019 football season running out onto the beautiful, newly installed field turf field of Memorial Stadium. The field, the first football field in Bakersfield to have field turf, was the focal point of the evening as more than 5,100 fans packed into the stadium for the home opener. The game was broadcast locally on KGET, and I was the halftime show guest with Nick James. The game was also streamed on GoGades.com where over 6,000 fans tuned in, and broadcast on the radio at KERN 1180.

While the team had a tough game against Mt. SAC, they look to bounce back tonight on the road at El Camino at 6pm. The game stream will be live through GoGades.com and on the radio at KERN 1180. The next home game is September 28th at 6pm against Golden West. Be sure to fire up your grill for tailgating at that game as a $500 prize will go to the winner of the ‘Mexican Fiesta’ tailgating theme. Judging will begin at 4:30pm and end by 5:30pm. The winner will be announced at the game.

Romeo Agbalog, Karen Goh, Lilly Agbalog, Yasmine, Sonya Christian

Thomas Blackwell visits BC

Thomas Blackwell, fresh off the plane from Japan, explained during his Distinguished Speaker presentation, “The Liberty of Our Language Revealed,” on Monday, “challenges are just opportunities for growth.”

Blackwell putting a hand on the shoulder of a volunteer.

During his presentation, Blackwell brought up a few volunteers to demonstrate the ways that words affect our body. The audience could see how positive words made the person’s body language stronger, while negative words made their body language weaker.

In the evening, Blackwell gave a community presentation in the Edward Simonsen Performing Arts Center (PAC) Indoor Theater. 

Blackwell was the first of nine Distinguished Speakers scheduled for the 2019-2020 semester. The events are organized by the Office of Student Life to offer thought-provoking discussions to the campus community. 

Thomas Blackwell speaking.

I would like to thank the Office of Student Life, Dr. Jennifer Garrett, and BC Performing Arts Department for bringing this speaker to campus. Don’t miss the next Distinguished Speaker, Arun Gandhi, grandson of civil rights leader Mohandas Gandhi, in Delano on September 30 at 11:00 a.m.

You will be found

Right before she introduced Thomas Blackwell for the community presentation, Dr. Jen Garrett had the Chamber singers perform You will be Found. A beautiful piece with great words. Enjoy BC’s Chamber singers.

Have you ever felt like nobody was there?
Have you ever felt forgotten in the middle of nowhere?
Have you ever felt like you could disappear?
Like you could fall, and no one would hear?Well, let that lonely feeling wash away
Maybe there’s a reason to believe you’ll be okay
‘Cause when you don’t feel strong enough to stand
You can reach, reach out your handAnd oh, someone will coming running
And I know, they’ll take you homeEven when the dark comes crashing through
When you need a friend to carry you
And when you’re broken on the ground
You will be found So let the sun come streaming in
‘Cause you’ll reach up and you’ll rise again
Lift your head and look around
You will be found

Interview with Ema Sasic

I had a delightful interview from Ema Sasic of the Bakersfield Californian. Check it out at “Q&A: BC President Sonya Christian says the college will have its ‘best year yet’.”

Sonya speaking from podium.

Onam

Last week, I was invited to speak at the annual Onam celebration organized by Bakersfield Malayalee Association.

Sonya poses with 20 Onam participants.

Onam is an annual harvest festival in the state of Kerala in India, as well as a major religious and cultural celebration practiced around the world by Malayalees, which is Kerala’s primary ethnic group. The event was a lot of fun and given the passing of my mom, I particularly enjoyed immersing myself in the sights, sounds and smells of all things Keralite.

Sonya speaking on stage.

Thank you President Chinnu for the invitation. Thank you to my dear friend Valsa to hanging out with me and catching up. Time is a precious gift….the struggle is always finding enough of it.

President Chinnu Joseph, Sonya Christian, Solly Benny
Valsa Chandy, Sonya Christian, Anita Patel, Chinnu Joseph

Transfer Day

We’re less than a quarter of the way through the Fall 2019 semester, but students are already thinking about where they’re going to go next year after graduating from BC. To make students aware of all their transfer options, BC’s Transfer Pathways team organized a resource fair in the Renegade Crossroads on Monday with representatives from colleges and universities around the country.

Colleges from near and far had booths for this year’s Transfer Day, with the Finish-in-4 Team from Cal State Bakersfield alongside the University of Hawaii at Manoa and the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. All of the UC campuses were represented at the transfer fair, as well as CSUs such as Fresno State and Humboldt State. There were also booths for specialized trade schools such as the California Aeronautical University and Gnomon School of VFX and Animation, as well as for-profit distance learning colleges such as the University of Phoenix. BC’s Financial Aid, Career Education, and Public Safety Training programs managed to get in on the fun, too.

I’d like to thank the Transfer Pathways team, Outreach, and everyone who helped organize this year’s Transfer Day as an important resource for students looking to continue their education.

Early College Tiny Renegades visit Delano

The Early College Initiative at Bakersfield College has been serving high school students for several years now, and most recently has grown to serve more high schools throughout Kern County. While early exposure to college in 9th grade is important, the Rural Initiatives team has partnered with Delano Elementary School District to expose students as early as Pre-school! This past Monday morning the team welcomed a group of tiny Renegades from Albany Park Elementary to the Delano Campus. The students got a tour of the campus, got to do some chalk art in front of the Science and Technology building, and walked away with some BC souvenirs. They even learned the “We are BC” chant! Thank you Abel for sending me the 15-second video. Loved it! A big thank you to Rural Initiatives coordinator, Carolina Madrigal, and the rest of the team for making this visit possible.

Wounded Heroes Fund Lunch

Bakersfield College turned out for the Wounded Heroes Fund Annual Barbecue Fundraiser.  A number of BC employees purchased the lunches, prepared by Café Med, Mexicali and JM’s Café.  Our own Veteran Services was there giving out information and BC Nursing students were on hand helping put the food together. 

According to their website, the Wounded Heroes Fund (WHF)’s mission is, “To act as a service organization for those veterans and their families affected by the war on terror in an effort to provide them with support and appreciation they need for a healthy return to civilian life.”  Edie Nelson, and her husband John, went above and beyond, driving to the site of the barbecue to bring back lunch for the a number of staff members, including the President’s Office.  This busy day saw 2,850 meals sold!

You can support the WHF at their next event “Soaring with Heroes” hangar party at Minter Field on November 2nd.

EPIC Faculty Story

On August 14, 2019 Bakersfield College Communication faculty member, Dr. Chris Cruz-Boone traveled to the Stanford University Campus for a summer intensive as part of a fellowship on teaching. 

BC Classroom a Gateway to the World

Posing in a suit in a grand hall.

One way we carry out our mission is through the establishment and consistent assessment of our 4 Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

The fourth of these goal is “Engage: Engage productively in all levels of society – interpersonal, community, the state and the nation, and the world”.

With this goal in mind Communication faculty Dr. Chris Cruz-Boone applied and was accepted as Stanford EPIC fellow. 

2019-2020 Stanford EPIC Fellows Retreat

The EPIC fellow retreat hosted several renowned Stanford faculty to collaborate on materials and content with the goal of increasing global competencies.  The first collaborative session for fellows was facilitated by Jeremy Weinstein the Faculty Director, Stanford Global Studies Division. Director Gary Mukai and instructional designer Jonas Edman, from the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE) shared existing resources on various topics aligned with common core standards. Open Education Resources (OER) or free online textbooks provide cost savings to students. Stanford has created a free application that challenges learners to engage with digital materials in complex and meaningful ways. The application called Lacuana Stories provides an interface where individual’s annotations can be inserted into the text. 

Dr. Cruz-Boone Project: Establishing Best Practices for Early College: Using Lacuna Stories in Culturally Responsive Teaching

Dr. Cruz-Boone uses digital learning resources, specifically Lacuana, as a mechanism to increase student engagement in the Arvin Early College program. Class materials will be designed for general education classes and aim to engage students to simultaneously explore relationships in cultural context of globalization and integrate these skills in the process of effective communication.

Very proud of Chris Cruz-Boone … very proud of BC faculty.

Fun Photos

Stephanie Stuart, Interim Food Services Manager worked all day Saturday to cover special functions, such as the New Faculty Welcome Dinner and the first home game of the football season, and still found time to help one of our long time BC football fans.

Loraine Wagner! She has been coming 50 years to the game. Thought you could pass this on! I gave her a ride to her car.

 With Cooper at new faculty reception. 

With Cooper, son of Faculty Heather Silva and future Renegade Football player, at new faculty reception.

Good looking team supporting Renegade Baseball fundraiser.

Athletics Update

Football Breaks in New Turf (Time-Lapse)

Check out this great time-lapse video (above) captured by Manny De Los Santos from May-August of the construction. The photos were taken by Brandon Urry and show the difference in the field from fall 2018 to fall 2019. We cannot thank Kern County enough for voting yes on Measure J!

Student Athlete Spotlight – Zach Hernandez, Renegade Football

Enjoy this week’s Renegade Student Athlete Spotlight video on Zach Hernandez from football. Zach talks about why he chose to come to BC and shares advice for future BC student athletes. This video was shot and edited by fellow BC digital media student Jacob Amado. Great work, Jacob!

Congrats to the 9/1-9/7 Kern Schools FCU Renegades of the Week!

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (9/1-9/7) Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week:

BC Renegades of the Week Presented by Kern Schools Federal Credit Union.

Penelope Zepeda, Volleyball – In helping the team to three impressive wins over Santa Barbara, Long Beach and Pasadena, Penelope totaled 47 kills and 60 digs! She also added 40 perfect passes with a 2.43% passing percentage and 64% perfect pass percentage. 

Christian Gonzalez, Men’s Soccer – Scored the tying goal on the road against San Francisco City on Friday and had an assist in Saturday’s 4-1 win at Mendocino in playing 177 out of 180 minutes in both contents. 

Men’s Golf Serves the Community

This past Saturday our Men’s Golf team represented the college providing service to the Kern County Mission, helping sort and prepare food and make sure water cups were filled! Thank you Coach Coble and team! We love to see our Renegades out in the community making Bakersfield a better place.

Renegade Athletics scores this week:

Wrestling Set To Open Up The Season at Home

BC wrestling home opener sep 13 - 6:00 PM.

Our Renegade Wrestling squad opens up their season at home this weekend in the Gil Bishop Sports Center. Coach Brett Clark is excited for the new year and says “Expect our team to compete and wrestle to the end.” Coach Clark and the team placed 6th at the state CCCAA state tournament last year and we are expecting big things from them this season. Read their wrestling season preview.

Renegade Swim Hosts 5th Annual Free Community Swim Lessons

This last Saturday, the Renegade Swim Program led by Coach Matt Moon opened up the BC pool to host the 5th Annual Free Community Swim Lessons. Participation from the local community was great and those kids who attended were able to get a 25-minute swimming lesson followed by a snow cone! If you missed the event this year, be sure to join us next year!

Sonya in traditional Indian dress.



That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever


BC Kicks Off the Semester!

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, September 7, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Standing Upon The Seashore.

I heard this poem by Henry Van Dyke read at an interment a few weeks ago. I found it and have read it every day since then. Thought I would share it with you in the hope it gives some comfort.

Ship sailing into horizon

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then, someone at my side says, “There, she is gone”

Gone where?

Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me — not in her.
And, just at the moment when someone says, “There, she is gone,”
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, “Here she comes!”

– Henry Van Dyke

Mento Buru and the BC Fight Song

BC’s Shane Jones

What better way to get ready for football season than by listening to Mento Buru’s rendition of the BC fight song! These tracks were recorded with our very own Commercial Music Department students. Take a listen!

Punk Version (with Lyrics)

Listen to the Punk version on SoundCloud.

Latin Ska Version (Instrumental)

Listen to the Latin Ska version on SoundCloud.

Community College Roundtable

Bakersfield College hosted a community college roundtable this past Tuesday, September 3 for Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s office. Representatives from the Kern Community College District, Bakersfield College, Porterville College, Cerro Coso College, Antelope Valley College, Taft College, and Senator Dr. Jean Fuller were all in attendance to participate in the discussion.

The goal of this roundtable was to bring together chancellors and presidents from Antelope Valley College, the Kern Community College District, and the West Kern Community College District for an open discussion on community college issues.  The conversation revolved around updates and recent happenings on the respective campuses, as well as student loan reform issues and the Higher Education Reauthorization Act.  This was a wonderful opportunity for community colleges in Congressman McCarthy’s district to share thoughts with him, and have a collegial discussion with each other.

The guest list included:

  • Thomas Burke, Chancellor, Kern Community College District
  • John Means, Vice Chancellor, Kern Community College District
  • Dr. Sonya Christian, President, Bakersfield College
  • Jill Board, President, Cerro Coso College
  • Dr. Corey Marvin, VP of Instruction, Cerro Coso College
  • Dr. Claudia Habib, President, Porterville College
  • Roger Perez, Marketing and Communications Manager, Porterville College
  • Dr. Deb Daniels, President, Taft College
  • Susan Groveman, Executive Director of Marketing and Community Relations, Taft College
  • Ed Knudson, President, Antelope Valley College
  • Dr. Jean Fuller, Senator Emeritus

It was also a joy to see Renegade alum and previous BCSGA President, Clayton Fowler, who is now Field Representative for Congressman McCarthy’s office, and was instrumental in organizing and planning this event.  Clayton is one of many Renegades who have gone on to do great things in life.

Holiday Hiring Series

BC’s Student Employment (BCSE) welcomed all students to our Holiday Hiring Series event, which was a perfect outreach opportunity for students to meet with representatives from major companies and apply for jobs for the upcoming winter holiday break. Recruiters from companies such as Nike, Levi Strauss & CO., Jobspeaker, and BCSE encouraged students to apply and helped them with their job applications. BCSE offers great employment resources for both on- and off-campus career opportunities that may interest students.

Thank you to BCSE for organizing this great event helping students to unlock new career opportunities.

Visit TurnTo23.com for more about the Holiday Hiring Series.

Burritos with Prez Pulido

BCSGA President Samantha Pulido wanted to get the student body more involved in meetings, so she held a “Burritos with Prez Pulido” event in Levinson Hall on Tuesday.

BCSGA President Samantha Pulido speaks to her Renegade constituents
BCSGA President Samantha Pulido speaks to her Renegade constituents.

The event featured free burritos and a chance to meet with student government leaders to discuss Bakersfield College’s future.

Students enjoying free burritos
BC students enjoy free burritos while learning more about SGA.

Pulido introduced herself to those attending the meeting, and Legislative Affairs Director Johnny Maddon held a Q&A session on Measure J construction and several initiatives from last year.

Johnny Maddon
BCSGA Legislative Affairs Director Johnny Maddon answers questions.

I’d like to thank Samantha Pulido, the BCSGA team, and the Office of Student Life for keeping student government at BC transparent.

Student Involvement Festival

Welcome Week at BC culminated with Wednesday’s Student Involvement Festival, which featured booths from departments and student organizations throughout the campus to teach students about all of the resources available to them at BC.

Some of the campus organizations represented on the CSS Lawn this year included Finish in 4, Adult Education, BCSGA, and Child Development, as well as representatives from the Dolores Huerta Foundation, Golden Empire Transit, and Cricket Wireless.

I’d like to thank everyone who supported this year’s Student Involvement Festival to help our students feel like they’re a part of the Renegade family.

Karaoke Knights

Karaoke Knights, hosted by BC’s Student Government Association (BCSGA), invited students to get together for a lot of fun, singing, and dancing. It was a great opportunity for students to let loose and belt out their favorite tunes.

Students showed off their singing skills and enjoyed some stand-up comedy in between songs. Many thanks to BCSGA for hosting the event.

Channel 17 Attends Class

Channel 17’s Olivia LaVoice visited Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Pat Smith’s Forensics Evidence class to discuss cold crime cases this week. The visit was covered on the news. Check out the YouTube video below for the story. Way to go, Pat!

Follow Rural HEAL on Twitter

Last week, the Rural HEAL Advisory Team launched our rural HEAL collaborative social media presence on Twitter. 

Twitter logo

I am excited about this eight-county collaboration addressing rural health in our community.

Follow the rural HEAL collaborative on Twitter at twitter.com/RuralHEAL and subscribe to receive rural HEAL collaborative updates.

I’d like to give a special thanks to Janalynn Castillo for all her hard work on this initiative.

Fun Photos: Renegade’s Men’s Chorus

The new Renegades Men’s Chorus will be singing the national anthem at the football game on Saturday night. I know they will do an amazing job!

Renegade Mens Chorus

Fun Photos:

Cookie Dough Monsters

Web Content Editor Aricia Leighton enjoys some delicious Bliss Cookie Dough at the Student Involvement Festival. Looks yummy!

Falafel Madness

Kylie Swanson shared this great photo of Ashlea Wagner’s birthday party in the Outreach Department on Friday. Ashlea is sure loving her surprise falafel lunch!

Ashlea Wagner birthday party

Athletics Updates

Football Ranked #16 in Preseason Poll

BC ranked 16th in preseason poll

It was announced this week that our Renegade Football team has been ranked #16 in the JC Athletic Bureau Poll. We are eager to see the team play on the new turf this season. Make plans to be at Memorial Stadium this Saturday at 6pm when the them faces off against Mt. SAC to open the season!

Free Community Swim Lessons

Free Swim Lessons at BC

For the 5th consecutive year the BC Swim Team is offering a free community swim clinic taught by members of the BC Swim Team. Lessons are available to children of all ages — young children must be potty-trained. The clinic is Saturday, Sept. 7th from 8am – 12pm at the BC Pool.

Volleyball Opens Season Going 3-0

Renegade Volleyball is on a run to open up their fall season. They swept Mt. SAC and Fullerton last Saturday and then swept Sequoias this last Wednesday night to start the season on a three-game win streak. The team started the season ranked #2 in the state and are looking dominant so far.

Make sure to come out to one of their game this season as they make their way back to the state playoffs. Check out the volleyball season schedule.

Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week

Brian Gaxiola and Alyson Dees

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (8/25-8/31) Kern School Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week:

  • Alyson Dees, Volleyball
    • In her college debut, Alyson had 32 attack attempts, 17 kills and 0 attack errors helping the team go 2-0 in last Saturday’s Bakersfield Quad in the Gil Bishop Sports Center. The Renegades swept both Mt. SAC and Fullerton, 3-0.
  • Bryan Gaxiola, Men’s Cross Country
    • Took 3rd place in the men’s race on Friday at the Ventura Invitational with a time of 22:41 on the 4-mile course. He was the highest placing freshman out of all male runners.


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Welcome Back, Renegades!

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, October 26, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

This week I made it to the final Concerts by the Fountain performance at the Marketplace to hear Mento Buru. As I was walking up they were doing a rendition of Desaparecido by Manu Chao, that I have not been able to get out of my head.

First BC Inmate Scholars’ Graduation at Kern Valley State Prison

BC’s pioneering class of students in prison graduated on August 28, 2019 — a historic day for BC.  We had 17(!) inmate Renegades graduate and receive their associate’s degrees from Bakersfield College. This was the first commencement since the program began at Kern Valley State Prison in 2015, and there really are no words to capture the tenacity and perseverance of these students.  I’m extremely proud of them! Robert Price from the Bakersfield Californian was there to share in the experience (check out his article) and some of the great coverage from local news stations!

Make sure to check out the piece that BakersfieldNow did on the graduation!

The faculty speaker was Bryan Hirayama who focused his remarks on lifting the students with whom he started this journey in 2015. Here is an excerpt from his speech.

The hard work and dedication, discipline, and transformation of these men, there is nothing more profound than that. The impact of this education is irreversible, and the trajectory of people’s lives have forever been changed. That is truly profound! I want to thank you men for your Renegade spirit and meeting and exceeding expectations. Your success here not only gives life and hope to this program, but to your peers who may not have ever considered college prior to your success. Your work here has subtly, and arguably drastically, changed people’s perceptions of you. Most importantly, your accomplishments here have created a lane and challenge for family and friends to redefine what is possible and give higher education a chance. Men, you have affirmed through your pursuit of something more that “you are worthy” and that the deep reservoir of potential has been tapped and we can’t wait to see what’s next as you continue moving forward. We are all so proud of you men and again, congratulations. Go Gades!

Check out this short video that will give you an insight into the work.

Photo from TBC website. Photo by Robert Price

Thank you Dan Hall, Angelica Perez, Camilla Anderson and Manny Mourtzanos for all of their hard work on this program. I also want to recognize Rich McCrow who started this program at BC in 2015. Thank you Rich for working with me in launching this program that transforms lives.

First Day of Fall 2019

Classes for the 2019-2020 academic year officially started this past Saturday, but most students took their first classes of the year on August 26 and 27. BCSGA helped ease any first-day jitters by providing donuts and student planners at welcome tents next to Administration Building, Outdoor Theater and Gym Huddle on the Panorama Campus, as well as the entrances to BC SouthWest and the Delano Center. Students could also ask representatives at the welcome tents for help finding their classes.

BCSGA representatives helped incoming freshmen feel comfortable with their new college life, including providing student planners to help them be more organized and stay up-to-date with their class assignments.  I’d like to thank BCSGA for motivating our incoming students and for helping them feel more safe and welcome on the BC campus. Welcome to our new Renegades!!

BCSGA Power Lunch with Congressman TJ Cox

Congressman TJ Cox visited BC on Wednesday for the first Power Lunch of the Fall, organized by our Student Government Association.  BCSGA’s Legislative Affairs director Johnny Maddon served as the moderator for Congressman Cox, who won his seat in the House of Representatives by just 862 votes in one of the most contested races of last year’s midterm elections.

Congressman TJ Cox
Congressman TJ Cox

The room was packed, and it was exciting to see so many people connecting with local politics.  Congressman Cox spoke about how his Filipino upbringing instilled a strong sense of social justice in him that has influenced his career in politics. After leaving a successful career in engineering to start over in the Central Valley with his wife Kathleen Murphy, who was called to serve as a pediatrician at Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera, he was inspired by the Iraq War to run for office for the first time in 2006. Despite losing by more than 20 points in his first two campaigns, he persevered and continued his political ambitions, believing deeply that his message and commitment would resonate with Central Valley voters with the right mobilization and support.

Mike Giacomini, Chancellor Tom Burke, Congressman TJ Cox and Zav Dadabhoy

Congressman Cox was extremely engaged during his time on campus, speaking with as many students and faculty as he could, and even making a diagram of the Washington Mall out of note cards for one student who had questions about the layout of the Capitol building.  I appreciate him taking the time to answer questions from the audience on inmate education, Valley Fever, and college tuition.  

Dr. Nicky Damania, Congressman TJ Cox and Johnny Maddon

I’d like to thank Congressman Cox for being so open and available to the BC community. I’d also like to thank the Office of Student Life, BCSGA, and Johnny Maddon for organizing this event, as well as Food Services for providing a delicious lunch.

Our very own Renegade Rip wrote a great piece on the event which I encourage reading.  

Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

The Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 25th annual Hispanic Business Conference and Expo Thursday August 29 with much fanfare and success, and Bakersfield College was in high gear connecting with community members, business leaders and working professionals to promote the work we do. Many local businesses, professionals, entrepreneurs and students gathered at the conference and expo to participate in business workshops and networking opportunities.

History Professor Olivia Garcia co-chaired Hispanic Business Conference and Expo, along Eva Ramirez of Kaiser Permanente. In working with KCHCC CEO/President Jay Tamsi, Olivia and Eva sought to celebrate the 25th anniversary of this growing special event by offering an array of workshops, dealing from conflict resolution and media branding to understanding the millennial as the consumer and employee, to showcasing rising women in business.

Margita Thompson, Vice President, Public Affairs at California Resources Corporation, CRC, traveled from Los Angeles and spoke as one of the keynote speakers. Thompson, a Harvard grad and bicultural Latina, spoke of her varied experiences, including serving as press secretary of former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and working as the California press secretary for former President George W. Bush during his 2000 election campaign.

The second keynote speaker was Richard Montanez, who created the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. He spoke of his humble beginnings as janitor who thought of an idea to spice up the Cheetos and found the courage and persuasion to present it to Frito-Lay executives who were wowed by it. Montanez is now an executive of a multinational company, PepsiCo whose subsidiary is Frito-Lay. Montanez spoke frankly of his limited education and encouraged the audience, particularly students, to never give up and look to education as part of the path to success. He told attendees to embrace their uniqueness and pursue their dreams relentlessly. Montanez’s own story of janitor-turned-inventor is being turned into a movie, called “Flamin’ Hot,” which, according to media reports, is set to be directed by Eva Longoria.

Olivia interviewed both keynote speakers, and a contingent of Bakersfield College faculty and staff attended to promote Bakersfield College programs and services and connect with local businesses and participants. BC was represented by CTE Director Tony Cordova; Paul Beckworth, Director of Veteran Services; Armando Trujillo, veterans advisor; Jeff LaForce, educational advisor; and CTE staff, Dominica Trinidad, Carlos Medina, Juan Manzano, and Jeff LaForce.

It’s always exciting to see our campus connecting with the business and community in innovative ways.

BC Listed as Top 10 School

This week, BC was listed as a Top 10 School for our Ag Business Programs by Hispanic Outlook on Education Magazine. Agriculture is a huge part rural Kern County’s economy.  BC’s Rural Initiatives mission is to provide ready access to the high quality education necessary for our socially and ethnically diverse students ‐‐ vocational, transfer‐oriented, developmental ‐‐ and to help them thrive in a rapidly changing world.

Careers in agriculture are diverse, and include: farm management, accounting, marketing, sales, and services requiring accounting, computers and salesmanship.

I’m so proud of our what our Ag faculty at BC do for our community. Check out the article at Hispanicoutlook.com and see why BC Renegades choose Ag Business in the video below!

Rural Express Enrollment Events: Creating Pathways for All!

Our Rural Initiatives team has been very busy! The team has been going from North to South offering Express Enrollment opportunities for Kern County rural communities. The cities of Arvin, Shafter, Delano, Wasco and Southeast Bakersfield enrolled new Renegades through these Express Enrollment opportunities.

BC Adult Ed Newsletter

Have I mentioned how proud I am to be the President of Bakersfield College?  This summer our Adult Ed Team was out and about in the community sharing the good news of education — catch the latest edition of their newsletter “In Touch, In Tune” for some highlights. Also, check out the article about the new Arvin Transit routes from locations in Arvin to the Job Spot in South Bakersfield.  A very special thank you to Endee Grijalva on our Adult Ed team for all of her hard work! 

Mike Giacomini Presents on Measure J

Our VP of Finance & Administrative Services Mike Giacomini presented at the Government Review Council (GRC) at the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce to update community members on the status of various Measure J projects.  Thank you Nick Ortiz, Jean Scheiber, and Kaelyn Peterson for allowing us to come present!  

Mike Giacomini presenting at GRC

Community members are extremely supportive of Measure J, and it’s important that we keep the community updated as much as possible.  If you’re active in the community, expect to see us at one of your events!

Deployed Renegade Elaine Moreno Update!

Paul Beckworth faculty Director of Veterans Services forwarded me an email earlier this week with an update on our currently deployed BC Renegade Elaine Moreno.  I’ve shared a bit about Elaine in past blog posts, and was happy to hear an update on her.  She told Paul that she’s currently working on a video to thank everyone who contributed to the eight (yes, 8!!) care packages that she received and will give a more detailed update then.  In the meantime, she sent over these great photos which we’ve also added to our Student Deployment Spotlight webpage.  Thank you for your service Elaine, and stay safe!  

Equity Training at BC 

Last week, faculty and staff had an exciting learning opportunity with the equity presentation by Inger Stark from the Peralta Community College District. Inger is one of the creators of the Online Equity Rubric that helps faculty understand the impact of their teaching practices on all of their students. Feedback on this session was overwhelmingly positive and we hope to have the rubric creators back again.

Warm Welcome From Carlos 

On Monday morning, Carlos Barbaran left welcome notes on the desks in the Administration building. Each year, Carlos leaves a note inviting those working in his area to contact him should we ever need his assistance. In A-17, he even left a delicious coffee café for the entire team of Marketing and Institutional Effectiveness to share. What a great way to start the year, thanks to incredible and caring staff!

Library Infographic

Check out this infographic from the Library team.  The stats below reflect all the work the librarians and library staff put in over the past academic year, and were they ever busy! Thanks to Faith Bradham for sharing this! 

Eat With Fellow Renegades 

Earlier this week BC Food Services welcomed students to a new 2019-2020 academic school year with a variety of meals provided by The Huddle, Gades Grub, and Banderas Burger Grill. So many delicious food options on campus!

If you happen to be at the Home of the Renegades, the Huddle is open Monday through Thursday, from 7:00 am to 7:30 pm, as well as Friday, from 7am to noon.

We also have rotations of food trucks on campus, right now with the Banderas Burger Grill open Monday through Friday, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. 

BC Rocks with Epic Proportions Tour!

BC’s Office of Student Life rocked the Huddle earlier this week with the Epic Proportions Tour, kicking off the new school year by hosting two touring bands: pop-rock artists Gabe Kubanda and People Who Could Fly!  Both are currently touring high schools, colleges, and military bases around the United States, performing for over 250,000 fans, and in the process encouraging kids to pursue a future in music.

The Epic Proportions Tour is a veteran-owned business that has since 2011 been offering free entertainment across the nation and teaching people about music. I would like to thank Gabe Kubanda, People Who Could Fly and everyone from Epic Proportions Tour for putting an amazing performance, and a very special thank you to our Office of Student Life for constantly making BC not only a place of learning, but a place of fun! 

Fun & Games with SGA

BC’s Student Government Association celebrated the new academic year with  an Indoor Gaming and Board Games event where students could get together, have some fun, relieve stress, listen to music and most importantly: enjoy some tasty snacks!  While it was mostly fun and games, BCSGA also introduced students to the Renegade Pantry assistance program, which helps students receive quality food, clothing, and hygiene supplies. 

Thank you to BCSGA for organizing this great event and for constantly bringing our students together.  Your work helps students become familiar and comfortable on the campus, and lets them know about available BC organizations and upcoming BC community events.  THANK YOU! 

BC Cheerleaders at Extreme MakeOver: Home Edition!

Heather Foss shared some photos with me of our Renegade Cheerleaders on the set of Extreme MakeOver: Home Edition earlier this week.  They taught everyone at the event a dance, and helped to “Move That Bus”!!!! Thank you for making BC proud! 

Fun Photos: 2019 Convocation

We had a wonderful time last week welcoming the newest Renegades and their families to the BC campus.  I’d like to extend a very special thank you to Dr. Nicky Damania for his consistently amazing work on this event.  

Fun Photos: Carpooling this Fall! 

I’ve continued my challenge from last fall to carpool to campus during the first couple of weeks of the Fall Semester.  Steve Holmes sent me a picture of his carpooling buddy…

Men’s Soccer Opens the Season With a Win

Our Renegade Men’s Soccer team opened up their season with a 2-0 shutout win at home on the BC Soccer Field over visiting West Hills Lemoore. The goals were scored by sophomore Christian Gonzalez and freshman Vitor Silva. The team will look to keep up the winning as the season continues!

Men’s Soccer Serves  the Community at the Kern County Mission 

This last weekend Men’s Soccer head coach Vayron Martinez and his team spent their Saturday morning at the Kern County Mission store helping to sorting donated clothing and hanging it on racks. Great work, and way to represent the college in serving the community Vayron and team!

Join us for the 5th Annual Free Community Swim Lessons 

The Renegade Swimming program is proud to announce the 5th Annual Free Community Swim Lesson Day. The event will be held at the Bakersfield College pool on Saturday, September 7th from 8am-12pm and is open to all, and any age children as long as they are potty-trained! The free lessons will be taught by members of the BC swim team. For more information or questions please call the Bakersfield College Pool at 661-395-4663.

Student Athlete Spotlight – Sarah Lopez, Volleyball

Please enjoy the first in an installment of student athlete profile videos this semester from our athletics department. This week’s video is on Sarah Lopez from Renegade Volleyball. Sarah came to BC from Taft, CA and explains in the video why she chose to come to the ‘Home of the Renegades’.  This year’s volleyball team looks to be dominant once again so make sure to come watch them in action this season. They are seeking to win their fourth conference title in a row! You can find their 2019 season schedule on GoGades.com.

First Football Home Game This Saturday

Make sure you’ve purchased your season tickets, marked your calendars, and join us for the first football game of the season this coming Saturday, September 7th at 6pm at Memorial Stadium against Mt. SAC. The new turf is looking great and we can’t wait to have the community join us for the first game! To purchase tickets visit Vallitix.com or call 661-322-5200. Go Gades!

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

BC building bridges

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, October 26, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

BC building bridges always…..

2019 Convocation BC Chamber Singers with Bridge Over Troubled Water

I have to start by welcoming BC’s 39 newest faculty to the Home of the Renegades! This year is going to be the best one yet because of the leadership and engagement of faculty and staff. At BC, we create engaged learning environments, strengthen support so students are successful, and we create bridges towards a better BC, a healthier community, and a stronger college going culture with a goal of increasing baccalaureate attainment in Kern County.

Welcome new faculty, I am so happy you are at the Home of the Renegades.

Browse our new faculty online at the New Academic Faculty webpage on the BC website.

Opening Day

Faculty and staff came together in the Indoor Theater on Thursday for the biggest Opening Day celebration that I recall. It is always a joy to arrive in the morning and feel the buzz as staff and faculty mingle and connect over a beautiful spread of breakfast goodies provided by Food Services.

I had so much exciting news to share with everyone in my annual State of the College report, which is why our team put together an Opening Day extravaganza. Samantha Pulido is the BCSGA President this year and her opening remarks were inspiring. She spoke of short term goals and long term goals, like graduating next year.

I opened State of the College with an overview of enrollment and student success data, which continues to rise. Since the 2013-14 semester, BC has seen 4.6 percent growth in annual headcount… we now serve 37,000 students. A 25.9 percent growth in Full Time Equivalent Student (FTES) over the last 5 years, and 10 percentage point growth in distance education.

In that same time period, the course success rate for traditional students is up 7 percent, and course success for distance education students is up 10 percent. It’s amazing that we’ve been able to improve our course success rates while our student population continues to grow significantly at the same time.

With this growth, our need for more faculty has also gone up, and we’ve increased our Full Time Equivalent Faculty by 46.9 percent since 2013-14 to carry out our high-tech, high-touch strategy via the Guided Pathways model.

We also reviewed a visual created by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness which shows the student body distribution by Meta-Major. As you can see, Health Sciences is in the lead at 18% with Arts, Humanities, & Communication close behind at 14%.

Our two Vice Presidents Zav Dadabhoy and Billie Jo Rice introduced the new faculty, classified staff, and managers,

Steve Holmes and Mike Giacomini
Steve Holmes and Mike Giacomini

Vice President of Finance, Mike Giacomini was joined by Academic Senate President, Steven Holmes for a report on budget. They shared the news that the College is financially healthy and being fiscally responsible. Bakersfield College and Kern Community College District have been well positioned to respond to the new Student Centered Funding Formula, and we’ve been fiscally prudent during the transition. 

Trustee Romeo Agbalog spoke about how he is proud to be a Kern Community District Trustee and he is proud of the work of BC’s faculty and staff. He spoke about Early College being the solution for rural communities to advance college attainment levels — a strong leading indicator of economic and social mobility. BC is truly blessed to have a trustee with so much commitment to our rural students and approached solutions that are results oriented and fiscally smart.

Senator Fuller moderated a panel of community leaders — Barbara Grimm, CEO and Founder, Grimm Family Education Foundation; Aaron Resendez, Superintendent of McFarland Unified School District ; David Franz, director of Shafter Education Partnership . I will cover this in my August 30th blog.

Aaron Resendez, Barbara Grimm, David Franz
Ken Keller, Sharlet Briggs, Jeet Singh, and Norma Rojas-Mora
Manny De Los Santos
Manny De Los Santos on Opening Day

BC’s videography specialist, Manny De Los Santos is editing some special videos for upcoming blogs so stay tuned!

After our panelists, the BC Drumline led faculty and staff out of the Indoor Theater to have lunch on the lawn next to the gym.

In the afternoon we spotlighted the need to increase baccalaureate attainment in the Central Valley and we know it will be increasingly important in an era where automation is on the rise. The slide below spotlights a data point from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) that by 2030, California will need an additional 1.1 million in the workforce holding baccalaureate degrees.

Bakersfield College is rising to meet this demand, with various complementary strategies, each bolstered by a number of initiatives and support services. The first strategy is community colleges throughout the state offering more baccalaureate degrees. BC has been fortunate to be one of the original 15 community colleges to pilot a baccalaureate degree, and we’ve done this successfully with the Industrial Automation program.

Blair Pruett from Kern Steel Fabrication took time out of his day to talk about his role on the Industrial Automation advisory board and the importance of preparing Kern County’s workforce for our automated future. He said:

Blair Pruett at BC
Blair Pruett, August 23, 2019

I applaud you for being here today. Education is the ticket to financial independence, to personal growth and understanding, and it will open doors for students, they don’t even know exist.
The world is fast approaching another paradigm shift where Automation and Information Technologies will work together to facilitate useful Artificial Intelligence. A.I. will allow us to solve vexing problems in every industry. BC stands ready to support the Automation needs of Kern County businesses.

At every opportunity, Kern Steel has Automated our processes. We robotically cut steel plates, beams and tubes with lasers. We weld with robots. We design in 3D and we track all our materials electronically. If there is a process that we can automate, we do, or at least we try.
Automation is key to our success and the success of many industries in Kern County. Whatever career students choose, Ag, Oil, Manufacturing, Distribution or many others, they will find that Automation is a key process. Kern County is full of opportunities for advanced Automation and new technologies and Kern Steel is just one example.

Blair Pruett, President of the Industrial Automation Advisory Board at Bakersfield College

Additionally, the second strategy is to expand transfer. BC’s Finish in 4 collaboration with CSUB is closing the gap for Renegades who are transitioning into Roadrunners, and enrollment in our Bachelor of Science in Industrial Automation continues to grow.

Sonya Christian, Richard Winn, Stephanie Droker, Mary Okada, Ian Walton
BC President Sonya Christian at the NACIQI meeting where the recommendation was made

With NACIQI’s recommendation to expand the baccalaureate programs at community colleges across California, we hope to provide more opportunities to empower the next generation of students with the education they need to turn their dreams into reality.

The new BC SouthWest campus will be triple the size of our current facility, and after lunch, we heard from Jessica Wojtysiak, Jason Stratton and Fernando Lara about their plans for the future of BC SouthWest.

Jessica, Jason, and Fernando – BC’s SouthWest Team

We then heard from our constituent leaders such as CSEA, CCA, Academic Senate, and the Management Association. I was especially humbled by the kind and thoughtful remarks by Tina Johnson and the recognition from our classified staff. This will be one of the top honors I will receive during my tenure as president… one that I will cherish always and hold dear to my heart. BC’s classified staff are a core pillar of strength which allows the college to serve an every increasing number of students each and every day.

We heard from Ann Tatum, President of CCA as well as from Susan Pinza, Director of the Levan Institute and Reggie Williams, Director of the Levan Center.

For the awards portion of the program, Talita Pruett introduced Helen Acosta and Donna Starr introduced Regina Hukill for the Shirley Trembley Distinguished Teaching Award. Erin Miller announced Bernadette Towns as the winner of the Levan Faculty Colloquium Award, and Kimberly Bligh introduced Kimberly Nickell for the Margaret Levinson Distinguished Leadership Award.

I’m proud to report that the State of Bakersfield College is strong, and it will only continue to get stronger as our initiatives grow and expand. I’m looking forward for 2019-20 to be another great academic year for Bakersfield College. Thank you to everyone who attended, packed the Indoor Theater, the two overflow rooms, and watched online. I can’t wait for the new year to begin next week

New Student Convocation and Family Bridge to BC

On Tuesday evening, the BC community prepared new students and their families for life as Renegades during the BC Open House and New Student Convocation in the Outdoor Theater.

History faculty welcoming students and families

This year’s convocation featured a scavenger hunt where students had to familiarize themselves with the campus. Representatives from each building stamped completion of tasks for scavenger hunt participants as they made their way through the campus. The first students to finish the hunt received prizes courtesy of the Bridge to BC program.

Ag table at convocation
BC’s Ag crew had a booth too!

In addition to the scavenger hunt, there was a resource fair in front of the entrance to the Outdoor Theater featuring booths from the Student Health Center, Public Safety Training, BCSGA, and a number of our student organizations. There was also a pathways booth on the lawn in front of the Counseling area, which offered more information about all ten of our learning and career pathways. Walking throughout the campus, you could hear the sound of spinning prize wheels reverberating off the walls.

After a delicious Indian dinner catered by Food Services, the processional started promptly at 7:13 p.m., or 19:13 in military time, to commemorate 1913, the year that Bakersfield College was founded. After a beautiful Bhangra Dance performance in honor of Mahatma Gandhi and a performance of the national anthem by the BC Chamber Singers, emcee Nicky Damania gave a brief introduction on the meaning of the word “convocation”, which is a call to bring people together.

Renegades! Can I hear you?!

I spoke very briefly about our amazing faculty and academic support programs before turning it over to Steven Holmes, Kimberly Bligh, and BCSGA President Samantha Pulido, who lead the audience in oaths for faculty, parents and supporters, and students, respectively.

It takes a village to help just one student finish their education, and these oaths help all of the stakeholders in that journey stay accountable to themselves and each other.

Public Safety Officer Ricardo Orozco also reinforced the importance of BC’s motto – “If you see something, say something, and let’s do something about it.”

The entertainment for the evening was spectacular, from the Chamber Singers’ performance of “You Will Be Found” and “Bridge over Troubled Water” to the closing performance of the BC Call and Fight Song by the Renegade Cheerleaders.

Kimberly Bligh and Isabel Castaneda
Kimberly Bligh and Isabel Castaneda

This year’s convocation was a beautiful way to start off the new semester, and I’d like to thank Dr. Nicky Damania, Office of Student Life, Dr. Kimberly Bligh, Isabel Castaneda, the Bridge to BC Team, Outreach, and everyone who attended to make this year’s the best yet.

It was great to see the event covered in The Bakersfield Californian’s “Incoming BC students, families attend convocation to ease fears” written by Ema Sasic.

Director of Counseling and Student Success, Marisa Marquez even shared this fun photo from the event! She said:

The wonderful Advisors, Counselors, Student Assistants and Administrative Staff of Counseling and Student Success hosted a Pathways welcome fair for the class of 2021! GO RENEGADES!!!

Marisa Marquez, Director of Counseling and Student Success
Steve Watkin and Andrea thorson take a selfie
Outreach Director, Steve Watkin and Dean of Instruction, Andrea Thorson

Flex Week

Matt Jones leads a flexweek workshop
Matt Jones leads a session for Flex Week

This week we celebrated the start of a new academic year with a very successful Flex week. We welcomed New Faculty at our new faculty seminar and had record attendance for our workshops. We received trainings from the CCC Accessibility Center on accessible word and PDF documents and video captioning. We welcomed a faculty member from Peralta College to train on equity and the online equity rubric. Our adjunct faculty seminar was one of our largest in recent years and gave our adjuncts a chance to hear about equity, accessibility and enrollment management.

Given recent current events all of our staff had the opportunity to learn about Active Shooter Response in several sessions throughout the week. We also had other unique offerings this year that ranged from Foundation training, to several Canvas courses, including Canvas Mastery Paths. These workshops have provided valuable information for faculty and staff as they gear up for a new academic year.

Special thanks to Pam Rivers and Bill Moseley for their dedication and commitment to continued learning.

Industrial Automation is Brought to BC’s Delano Campus

With funding presented by Assembly Member Rudy Salas this past July to expand our baccalaureate program in Industrial Automation in Delano, Electronics faculty Tom Rush and Michael Larson were able to work diligently this past week and over the weekend to assemble and prepare three portable Electric Motors and Controls lab training systems.

Tom Rush, Mike Larson, Lora Larkin, and Abel Guzman
Tom Rush, Mike Larson, Lora Larkin, and Abel Guzman

Professors Rush and Larson transported the units to the Delano campus themselves to get the classroom ready for Industrial Automation students’ first day! They were joined by Lora Larkin and Abel Guzman. Thank you Tom and Michael for taking the Industrial Automation program out to our Delano community, and Abel for helping to make this happen!

Project Next Step

Bryon Schaefer, Karen Goh, Lyle Martin, Sonya Christian, Vernon Harper, Steve Watkin (photo: from Mayor Goh’s website)

On Saturday, August 17th Bakersfield College hosted approximately 500 guests for the 3rd Annual Project Next Step Conference. The Project Next Step Conference is an opportunity for new and continuing high school students, made possible by the collaboration of the Kern High School District, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the Bakersfield Ivy Legacy Foundation, Bakersfield College, and the Bakersfield City School District. Several organizations from the community also participated as sponsors and hosted a table at a resource fair that was provided during lunch. 

Sonya Christian and Bryon Schaefer
Sonya Christian and Bryon Schaefer

The day began with welcoming remarks from myself and other community representatives, including Kern High School District Superintendent Dr. Bryon Schaefer, Dr. Vernon Harper from CSU Bakersfield, and Linda McKnight from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Then James Burton Jr. from Farmers Insurance gave a motivational speech on the important of having a goal in mind and taking strategic steps to get there.

Students and parents then left the indoor theater to attend a series of workshops prepared for them on topics like dressing for success, applying for financial aid, participating in dual enrollment, and different college options available to them. The day was a great opportunity to instill students and parents with the confidence that they need to find success in high school and college.

Project Next Step wrote about the event in their blog as well! Check it out!

BC’s Renegade Pantry

Last week, I shared in my blog that BC’s Renegade Pantry announced that they will be receiving a $20,000 grant to help students with hunger and food insecurity. The pantry is run by student employees and is continuously getting restocked thanks to donations and sponsorships from the community. In addition to food, the pantry offers many different types of hygiene items.

Group Photo with check for the Renegade Pantry
Thank you Kern Partnership for the support of the Renegade Pantry

A check presentation on Monday included Cindy Uetz, a Board member of the Kern Partnership for Children and Families and the Chief Deputy Director for the Kern County Department of Human Services and Social Service Supervisor Jana Slagle. Representing BC, we had Nicky Damania, Danyel Ritter, Tom Gelder, and BCSGA President Samantha Pulido.

Umoja Orientation Prepares Students for a Successful Semester

Incoming Umoja Community African-American Success Through Excellence and Persistence students engaged in activities designed to prepare them to make the most of their fall semester.  Umoja offered two orientations for students enrolled in the core courses of English 1a, Library 1, and Student Development 6. During the two days, students participated in team building activities, learned about how to apply for on-campus jobs, found out how to avoid academic probation, and learned about the ins and outs of financial aid.

Thanks go to Vikki Coffee, Dr. Michael McClenic, Angela Williams, respectively for presenting informative sessions. In addition, Umoja student leaders gave the new students tips for being successful at BC. Umoja Counselor Jonathan Ward talked with students about taking personal responsibility.  Umoja Coordinator Dr. Paula Parks led students in cultural activities that helped them learn more about the Umoja Community and about its educational philosophy.

For more information about the Umoja program, visit the Bakersfield College website and check them out on social media!

Early College Workshops Happening Now!

BC team with Justin Derrick at McFarland High School
Principal Justin Derrick with the BC Team

Our high school partners welcomed students back earlier this month and our Early College and Outreach teams were there to partner with them and help kick things off! This year, Early College has teamed up with Outreach to offer enrollment services to each of our 31 high school partners who offer dual enrollment courses on their campuses. Since the first day of school, the team has been busy going out to schools to assist students with applications and updates and to tell them more about the early college opportunities that they are embarking on. 

Thank you, Early College and Outreach teams for providing these services and this support to our young early college Renegades! 

Continuing to Level the Playing Field

The Rural Initiatives Early College team has also been active this past week assisting students with matriculation steps in order to enroll in their second course in their pathway. All incoming freshmen at Shafter High School will be taking a minimum of two college courses and over 50 students have taken advantage of the opportunity to join the General Education pathway to complete up to 38 college credits while in high school.

Thank you Rural Initiatives team for continuing to level the playing field for these underserved communities in Kern County, especially to the lead Counselor, Jesse Oropeza and lead Program Manager, Jaime Lopez.

Safety First

BC Sidewalks

With school starting next week, we ask that everyone on campus please make sure to pay attention to signage and follow the designated walking paths.  Please be aware of the temporary sidewalk closure on the east side of the Campus Center area and when in doubt, check out the current footpaths at A Better BC’s website under the Construction Maps link.

Campus Center Virtual Tour

We’ve been lucky to work with some great companies on the Measure J construction, and we’re just starting!  Ordiz-Melby Architects, Inc. created this great virtual tour where you can really feel what the campus atmosphere is going to be once the Campus Center is completed.  I loved unveiling it at this year’s Opening Day, and hope that others will share it as well!

Keeping it Local

Community Relations Manager Tamara Baker unveiled the newest Measure J project: the “Keeping It Local” video series.  These videos will highlight the work of local companies working on these construction projects. It’s important for Bakersfield College that we share these stories as these projects evolve.  BC is excited to collaborate with the local construction community as we all work together to build A Better BC! Thank you to Danny Ordiz and Jeannie Bertolaccini of Ordiz-Melby Architects, Inc. for participating in this video, and for all of your hard work! Also, thank you to videography student, Thanh from Jeff Hustons class for recording and editing the video.

Visiting the Getty

Raji Brar, Jean Fuller, Barbara Grimm, Lynette Zelezny, Sonya Christian
Raji Brar, Jean Fuller, Barbara Grimm, Lynette Zelezny, Sonya Christian

I visited the Getty Villa on the Malibu Coast with a group of friends, including Senator Jean Fuller to take in sculptures, art and other antiquities that are thousands of years old. We are fortunate to have such beautiful and magical places nearby.

Getty Villa
Getty Villa, photo from Wikipedia

The Getty Villa is an amazing place. In 1954, billionaire oil tycoon J. Paul Getty started building two museums at his property in the Pacific Palisades to share the beauty of ancient Greek, Roman and Etruscan antiquities with the people of Southern California. The Getty Villa was inspired by the Villa of the Papyri in Herculaneum, now known as Ercolano in Southern Italy, which was buried under the ashes of Mt. Vesuvius until its excavation in 1750. The Getty Villa opened in 1974, and Getty himself never got to visit the museum before he died in 1976.

Every year, Nicky Damania takes a group of BC students out to attend college night at the Getty, where they get to learn how ancient artifacts are restored by conservationists. I’m so grateful for the Getty foundation’s work of bringing the art of ancient cultures here from halfway across the world.

BC students at the Getty
BC students at the Getty

Emails Worth Sharing: From Mayor Goh

Mayor Goh is a cheerleader for BC students. She cares about our students and the positive impact they make on the community. Last weekend she shared with me:

This morning I attend the 6th annual CALIFORNIA KAREN YOUTH FORUM – celebrating the culture of the Karen people and commemorating the 69th Karen Martyrs Day that pays tribute to Karen fallen soldiers. Attached is a photo of Bakersfield College students Dah Dah Khu and Praise Oo . They were excited when I said I’d share their photo with you.

Mayor Karen Goh, August 2019
BC Students with mayor Karen Goh

Community Voices: Jack Hernandez

I enjoy seeing a glimpse of Jack Hernandez every time he has a Community Voices piece printed. You can read the digital version on Bakersfield.com.

Community Voices article by Jack Hernandez

Community Voices: Eileen Pierce

Eileen Pierce
Eileen Pierce

Speaking of Community Voices, it was great to see Eileen Pierce as well.

She wrote a piece on BC’s support services titled “BC academic support program promotes knowledge through interpersonal relationship building.”

Fun Photos: Dean Rodriguez Area Meeting

Dean Corny Rodriguez sent some fun photos from his area meeting.

Fun Photos: Dean Area Meetings

VP of Instruction, Billie Jo Rice, attend many Dean area meetings this week. Here are some of her fun photos.

Fun Photos: Making Wreaths

Program Managers, Kylie Swanson and Monika Scott took a small break from their focus on BC to create beautiful succulent wreaths at Flourishing Art this past week.

Monika Scott and Kylie Swanson hold wreaths
Monika and Kylie

Fun Photos: Happy Birthday Dylan

On Wednesday, the crew in A17 which makes up BC’s Marketing and Institutional Effectiveness offices celebrated Dylan Wang’s birthday with some delicious cake. 

Staff in A17 gather around for birthday cake

Renegades Continue to Lead the State in Football Attendance

 This fall we look forward to continuing the streak of leading the state in football home attendance. In 2018 we drew an average of 3,671 fans per game. The second place school, College of the Canyons drew an average of 2,671 fans per game. The complete list of total attendance and average attendance figures from the 2018 season can be viewed on the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) website.

Renegade Volleyball Set to Open the Season One Game at a Time 

Our back to back to back Western State Conference Champion volleyball team is set to begin another year dominating the court. Coach Ferreira, the 2018 California Community College Women’s Volleyball Coaches Association (CCCWVCA) Coach of the Year and 2018 Western State Conference (WSC) South Coach of the Year, and his team are looking for a fourth conference title in a row and also to make a run at the state title. Their season opener is on Saturday, August 31 when they host the  ‘Bakersfield Quad’ playing against Mt. SAC at 10am and Fullerton at 2pm in the Gil Bishop Sports Center. To read a preview of this years team visit GoGades.com

 Men’s Soccer

Men’s Soccer begins their fourth season as a program after rebooting the Men’s Soccer team here on campus four years ago, Coach Vayron Martinez is looking to build on the success’s of the past few years and go for the Western State Conference title this season. Come join them for their season opener against West Hills Lemoore on Tuesday, August 27th at 4pm on the BC Soccer Field. To read a preview of the team visit GoGades.com or click this link: http://gogades.com/sports/msoc/2019-20/releases/20190820mv54yl.

Mens Soccer Home Opener Graphic


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever